Sunday, May 22, 2016
The Racing Soul
With a big 10K footrace coming up on Memorial Day in my town, I think about running and the spiritual life. The worst form of running is "washed up." This is when you dabble at jogging but are getting nowhere. No talent, muscles, lungs, nothing. Fast walkers pass you on the trail if you even get that far. One level up from this is "coming back." You have been away from running for awhile for one reason or another and now you are starting to run regularly. You can see some slight improvement in pace, breathing, comfort. The next level up is "fitness." You build a base with long easy runs over time. Gradually the pace quickens, but mostly it is disciplined miles that are adding up each week. This requires discipline and patience. Next level up is "training." You can go to the track. You can do very fast paced runs of 400 to 800 meters with just a little rest in between. You are working on speed and a pain threshold. Finally, you get to the racing stage. Some race the course or try for a specific time. The few try to beat everyone around them, and the very few to hammer all opponents. I find that I am in the "coming back" stage all the time lately. One thing or another betrays my body. I stop running. Then I start again and see some slight improvement. I am on the edge of "washed up." My enemies would say I am over the edge. I must keep in mind that as my body problems seem to mount, my soul can continue to grow. Soul need not age to become ''''washed up." Nor do I need to always be starting over. Each day, if I cannot run, I can pray. I like to think that with discipline and patience, my coach, The Holy Spirit, will take me to where I can hammer the devil. The devil is always fit for sin. Gotta' go. Time to train.